Investing in renewable energy sources can help tackle the COVID-19 job issue and climate change

According to researchers, investing in renewable power can help nations recover from the downturn created by the COVID-19 crisis since it creates more jobs than relying on fossil fuels. “Green investments may be a significant part of recovery packages, resulting in job creation and beneficial economic outcomes while also helping to address climate change,” according to a report by World Resources Institute (WRI), a think tank located in the United States. However, in order to boost development after several millions of people lost their employment due to coronavirus lockdowns around the world, governments are increasing expenditure on carbon-intensive industries that do not tackle climate change issues or provide job security, according to the report.

The WRI analysis analyzed upwards of a dozen studies from the past decade and concluded that $1 million spent in green assets would create more jobs in the short term than the same invested amount in fossil fuels and roads. However, the researchers emphasized that the quality of jobs produced in climate-friendly industries must be preserved by assuring equitable salaries and working conditions and that governments should work with employers and labor unions on the problem. According to researchers, as the world deals with rising temperatures and more weather extremes, as well as a labor shortage, going green gives the opportunity to address both issues at once.

“Investing in climate is an economic opportunity, not a cost,” said Joel Jaeger, the report’s lead author. As per the International Labor Organization, the epidemic eliminated roughly 255 million full-time employment last year, resulting in a $3.7 trillion loss of income for workers worldwide. However, the WRI analysis stated that stimulus programs to boost pandemic-affected sectors tell a picture of ecological apathy.

According to data from Energy Policy Tracker included in the paper, industries depending on fossil fuels have received $334 billion in government funding, compared to $276 billion for public transportation and renewable energy. It was calculated that if Indonesia invested in green energy and followed low-carbon economic policies, it could generate 15.3 million employments by the year 2045 and the United States could generate 4.5 million jobs each year for the next ten years.

During the epidemic, climate-friendly sectors have already provided jobs and higher salaries, according to the report. For example, people in China have been drawn to electric vehicle manufacture because of better wages, and in Pakistan, a $135 million state investment in forest protection and tree planting has resulted in the creation of 85,000 daily wage workers in the previous year.

According to the studies evaluated by WRI, financing in the solar-photovoltaic equipment manufacture creates 1.5 times as many jobs as spending the same amount on fossil fuel production, while wind power provides 1.2 times as much employment. As per International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA), which advocates clean energy and technologies, the renewable energy industry has created an increasing number of employment opportunities in recent years, with 11.5 million jobs created in 2019, up from Eleven million the previous year.

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